Curriculum Newsletter

Global Citizenship - Volume 3 - April 2015

A Focus on Global Competency and Global Citizenship

Bullis Charter School's Foreign Language Programs

A BCS, we believe that learning a foreign language and learning about other cultures are key parts of being a global citizen. We want our students to leave BCS on the pathway to biliteracy so that they will be successful in high school, college, and beyond.

Establishing a foreign language began as part of the strategic planning process. The BCS staff, parents, and community members who were part of the action planning team decided that BCS should focus on two languages, Mandarin and Spanish, and since Mandarin is considered a more difficult language, that it should start in kindergarten. The first year, BCS started with two grade levels learning Mandarin--kindergarten and first grade and each year another grade level was added until the option to learn Mandarin K-8 was reached. In addition, the decision was made to have all 5th graders take a year of exploratory Spanish so that they can make an informed decision about which language they want to pursue in middle school, and unlike our neighboring schools, all BCS middle school students take either Mandarin or Spanish.

Bringing Global Competency Into Your Classroom

A fabulous new resource for teaching global competency in your classroom is the Framework for State Action on Global Education and its companion, Teachers' Guide to K-12 Global Education Grade Level Indicators.

Teachers' Guide to K-12 Global Education Grade Level Indicators asks,

What is a globally competent kindergartener able to do? What about a second grader? How do these students progress in their attitudes, skills and knowledge throughout elementary school?

This guide outlines the global competence learning targets for each grade level pair (K-1; 2-3; 4-5). The attitudes, skills and knowledge are indicated in this guide across learning spirals developed by VIF as part of its Global Gateway system: Understanding, Investigating, Connecting, and Integrating. For each grade-level pair of indicators, checklists are provided to support integration into everyday classroom practice.

A Kinder & 1st Grade Example

Overall Global Learning Goal: In Kindergarten and First Grade, students will demonstrate a global perspective through multiple learning opportunities to compare other cultures to their own.

Understanding: Articulate the role of culture in everyday life by describing one’s own cultural traditions and comparing and contrasting with classmates’ and global peers’ cultural traditions.

Examples of specific indicators include, but are not limited to:

• Students can find their region and its countries on a map.

• Students can name and describe the events, celebrations, and stories that are important to their family and community.

• Students see that other people and communities have traditions that are different from their own.

A 4th and 5th Grade Example

Overall Global Learning Goal: In Fourth and Fifth Grade, students demonstrate global competence gained through multiple opportunities to conduct collaborative, comparative investigations across curriculum areas about diverse cultures from their region of focus and beyond. When comparing cultures, students can suspend judgment and look beyond simplistic determinations of “right” and “wrong.” Students connect with peers outside of their classroom and present knowledge to diverse audiences using digital media and technology tools. Students demonstrate a foundational understanding of their role as a digital citizen, including how they present their ideas and points of view using multiple media.

Investigating: Initiate an effective global inquiry process that includes framing compelling questions, determining and implementing effective investigative practices (e.g online research, community-based investigation, scientific experiment), synthesizing and making meaning out of the information collected, creating a product, sharing the learning product, and reflecting on/revising the entire inquiry process to plan for the next investigation.

Examples of specific indicators include, but are not limited to:

• Students can ask questions that start cultural investigations highlighting the relationship between products, practices and perspectives, and cultural beliefs and values.

• Students can demonstrate multiple literacy skills (comparing and contrasting, making inferences when analyzing fiction and non-fiction texts, multiple media, etc.)

• Students can conduct research that draws upon multiple sources (e.g. books, websites, newspaper articles, etc.) that provide information relevant to their global inquiry.

• Students can sift and analyze the information that they collect to incorporate only relevant, credible resources.

National Geographic Educator Community

According to the NatGeo website, the NatGeo Educator Community is a community for educators committed to teaching about our world. They have recently revamped their website and their vision for education, and the new vision is closely aligned to our mission and Global Citizenship continuum strand.

Their new learning framework is organized around three areas: attitudes, skills, and knowledge.

Attitudes include curiosity, responsibility, and empowerment

Skills include observation, communication, collaboration, and problem-solving

Knowledge includes our human story, our living planet (understanding the amazing and interconnected systems of the changing world we live in), critical species, and new frontiers.

Check out their new educator's website to check out the resources. The site is continuing to evolve as they add new content and ways to connect with other educators.

National Geographic Educator of the Week

Have a good project that teaches students about the world around them and their relationship to it? Nominate yourself to be a National Geographic Educator of the Week. You are all doing exciting and bold projects in your classroom that could be highlight on the NatGeo Educator website. You can nominate yourself, a colleague, or just check out the website for new ideas.

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